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The whole time I was reading Freud I could not believe that anyone has ever taken him seriously. The way he is trying to derive meaning seems so labored. All of his interpretations appear to be utter hogwash. That was my first thought.
Then, I had a studio visit with a visiting artist. We were discussing how to make meaning in work and she described some exercises she sometimes uses to generate ideas for new work and also to interpret for herself the work of other artists. Many of the techniques she uses resemble free-association and what Freud calls condensation and overdetermination.
The ideas did not seem like such complete nonsense when they were put into practice by the visiting artist. Partly I think this is because she was using these ideas to derive meaning from work consciously produced by human beings instead of from ramblings thrown up by the unconscious mind while sleeping. People produce art to communicate meaning so it makes sense to try to interpret that meaning.
Also, Freud annoyed me with how he seemed to always come up with the same story after interpreting anything. I was happy to note that I was not alone in noticing this as the same criticism was pointed out in Lapsley.
From reading Freud’s readings, I just started to think like he is making a theory about the meaning of the dream, and as I read most of the dreams he relates to somehow in a sexual way, and also trying to tie up the patient’s dreams with their childhood. I am wondering how Freud selects these examples to use for this reading because when the reading is reading there’s no objection about the idea. And also Freud is talking about dream elements as a symbol and it can be interpret the dream. I want to understand with the idea of semiotics or structuralism(if possible) but it is hard to think and visualize the thought at this point.
Freud mentioned short about dreams with “endopsychic defense”, and also Lacan states about “the defenses of the ego”. It seems like all about psychology is about how to “defense” our inner mind or identity when we deal with other people and the outside world. I am pretty interested in Lacan’s idea of mirror-stage because some of the elements of the ideas related to my past works.
I thought I had a firm grasp on Lacan, but “The Orthospsychic Subject: Film Theory and the reception of Lacan” put me in my place. It is quite fascinating reading a hard to grasp homogeny of different film theorist opinions combined and critiqued in order to make a completely specific theoretical point. There seems to be this need to define and delineate the correct interpretation of all of the terms such as proptic, desire, and orthospsychic so much so that the ultimate conclusion is lost amongst all of the parsing of words. I, for the most part, followed Cobjec’s breakdown on the difference between Foucaults and Lacans interpretation of the signifying system, Foucault seeing it as a panoptic gaze, using the example of woman viewing woman as part of a patriarchy, and Lacan seeing that the system can’t be determinate. But when the paper starts to extensively define terms like the imaginary, I begin to lose patience. There are kernels of truth throughout this paper such as clarifying how desire and/or the resistance to our desires formulates society, and how misrecognition is never perceived as such as part of the subject (after which, Copjec geometrically breaks down how misreognition is constructed). But all of these theoretical points combined just serves to completely jargonize Copjec’s ultimate point for me. Hopefully there will be more of an illumination on his point in class.
I’ve always thought of dreams as a picture-puzzle and I’m glad Freud feels the same way. I’ve always like Freud’s unanswerable deliberations within his work as it seems he is thinking through concepts as he is writing, illuminating his thought processes before settling back on his initial point which now seems totally within reason given his radical expansion on his initial notion (like his point on dream’s condensation even thought the organization of that condensation remains allusive). I appreciated his distinction between dream-thoughts and dream-content, implying that being within dreams, we are constantly reinforcing the elements presented to us with thoughts that connect these elements together and visa-versa.
I’m actually working on a short narrative piece at the moment that focuses on the psychology of a man referred to as The Watcher who only derives emotionally truth from watching screens as apposed to experiencing the same emotional moment in real life. One can see how this character applies to Lacan’s Mirror Stage, but I’m also thinking of including a dream sequence that can effectively condense the troubled psychology of this man’s subconscious through hopefully creative visuals that imply a dreamic displacement.
When I read Joan Copjec’s, The Orthopsychic Subject: Film Theory and the Reception of Lacan, and George Hagman’s, A New Psychoanalytic model of Aesthetic Experience, the first thought that came to my mind was “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.” But, after breaking down the readings, I realized that not only is beauty in the eyes of the beholder, but it is what society programs the mind to believe what is the ideal beauty.
Hagman argues that aesthetic experiences, which (in my opinion) are influenced by social status, classism, and marketing, are elements that influence a cultural group to believe that the medias portrayal of the ideal aesthetics are normal and acceptable and beautiful. When in reality, aesthetic experiences programs our minds to believe in false realities potentially creating a culture filled with individuals that suffer from false identity. Hagman states, “The real is conjured and confronted in an ideal form. It is at once beautiful and also terrible. Our fearful imaginings are reconciled with the dreadful truth—they are merged within the perfect image,” (p.17).
Which leads me to Copjec’s article when she discusses how society tricks viewers to believe if a woman is “gazed” upon she is labeled as “perfect”. She states, “The panoptic gaze defines… the perfect, that is, the total visibility of the woman under patriarchy, of any subject under any social order…” I personally believe that women fall victim to judgment, or in this case the “gaze,” because the idea of beauty is derived from Western societies definition of what is the ideal beauty. Copjec continues, “… knowledge is produced by society (that is, all that it is possible to know comes not from reality but from socially constructed categories of implementable thought), since all knowledge is produced, only knowledge (or visibility) is produced, or all that is produced is knowledge (visible),” (p.289). Media, such as films and television, can and does program one’s mind to pursue the viewer to become what society tells them is acceptable as the norm and the ideal beauty.
Jacques Lacan- The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I as Revealed in Psychoanalytic Experience
The mirror stage describes the experience of an infant realizing the image reflected in the mirror is their own. This takes place when the infant between the ages of 6-18 months. This is the first time the infant realizes they are separate from the mother, and in doing so, realize their identity is fractured. This stage establishes their identification of self with the external world. Eternal identification alienates the individual from their inwelt self. However, without the external identification the individual would be alienated from society. Lacan proposes that from this moment the child realizes their identity will always be fractured, and will always desire the moment before this realization, their sense of wholeness.
1.) Does this identification always relay on the image of the mother as lacking?
2.) If so how would this moment differ for the female infant?
Rob Lapsley- Psychoanalytic Criticism
The article summarizes the works of Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan. He describes how these theorist are used in the clinical practice of diagnosing patients. Lapsley argues that solely depending on theses understandings of psychoanalysis limits the validity of the findings. It establishes a system that determines findings through pre-instituted evidence. Both Freud and Lacan establish the woman as lacking, and there for only promotes an understanding of sexuality through a bias construction. One of the main interest of my work focuses on children’s understanding of sexuality. I’m interested in what society labels as “bad touch”, which does not bare the same meaning to a child.
1.) Is there a universal truth to sexuality, or is it all constructed?
2.) Lapsley argues the continual re-inventing of psychoanalysis, but does he believe that it will always be constructed around binaries?
I get very frustrated talking “psycho analysis” with these writings of early life. I understand the importance and how influence works over the span of a lifetime. That we are much more impressionable at an early age. Though, I wish our academic setting was more comfortable with the disorders that can arise from these early influences. Freud always sits too sexual for my interests, though I understand the importance of this for things like gender studies and feminism.
Whenever I think “psycho analytical” the point drives to why I make the work I do. Processing and therapeutic art for understanding the self and to cope -more or less- with the other, the social. This was my interest in Lacan’s mirror last semester with Jyostna. I had created “self-portraits” that were nothing of my visual-self, but rather a translated image through the decoding/encoding of that visual data. I had thought with that work that the mirror was more of a window and as I stand on one side, the other looks in from elsewhere.
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